Ageing, unsafe dams growing threat in India: UN report.

In India, there are over 1,25 large dams that will be about 50 years old in 2025.

According to a United Nations (UN) report, more than a thousand large dams in India will be about 50 years old in 2025 and increase the risk of such aging embankments around the world, adding that by 2050 the Earth But most people will stay downstream. Thousands of dams built in the 20th century.


A report titled “Aging Water Infrastructure: An Emerging Global Risk” and compiled by the Canadian-based Institute of Water, Environment and Health of the United Nations University, states that most of the 58,700 large dams worldwide were constructed between 1930 and 1970 A design was done with life. 50 to 100 years.

It said that in 50 years, a large concrete dam would “begin to express the most aging signs.”

The signs of aging include increasing cases of dam failure, progressively increasing dam repair and maintenance costs, increased reservoir sedimentation and decreased dam performance and effectiveness, “strongly interconnected” manifestations, the report said.

“By 2050, most people on Earth will live below the tens of thousands of large dams built in the 20th century, many of them already running into or beyond their design life,” according to an analysis by U.N. University.

The analysis includes case studies of dam demotion or aging from the United States, France, Canada, India, Japan, and Zambia and Zimbabwe.

According to the report, another major dam construction revolution is unlikely in the mid-20th century in the world, but the dams built then will inevitably see their age.

The report states that 32,716 large dams (55 percent of the world’s total) are found in just four Asian countries: China, India, Japan and South Korea – most of which will soon reach the 50-year limit.

The same is true of many large dams in Africa, South America and Eastern Europe.

In India, there are over 1,25 large dams that will be about 50 years old in 2025, more than 4,250 large dams in the country will be more than 50 years old in 2050 and 64 large dams will be more than 150 years old in 2050, it said Happened.

The report states that if the Mullaperiyar Dam in Kerala was built 100 years ago in India, around 3.5 million people are in danger.

“The dam in the seismically active region exhibits significant structural flaws and its management is a controversial issue between the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu,” he said.

The report states that dams that are well designed, built and maintained “can easily reach 100 years of service” but predict an increase in “decommissioning” – in the USA and Europe A phenomenon gaining momentum – as economic and practical limitations prevent aging dams. Being upgraded or if their original use is now obsolete.

In the US, the average age of 90,580 dams is 56 years. In 2020, more than 85 percent of US dams were running at or beyond their life expectancy, and 75 percent of US dam failures occurred after the age of 50. The estimated cost of renovating American dams is approximately $ 64 billion. About 1,275 dams were removed in 21 US states over the past 30 years; In 2017 alone 80 were removed.

Worldwide, the vast amount of water stored behind large dams is estimated to be 7,000 to 8,300 cubic kilometers – enough to cover about 80 percent of Canada’s landslides under water meters.

The report’s co-author Vladimir Smukhtin, director of UNU-INWEH, said the report was intended to draw global attention to the issue of aging water storage infrastructure and international efforts to combat this emerging, increasing water risk To encourage.

“Underlined is the fact that increasing frequency and severity of floods and other extreme environmental events can increase the design range of a dam and speed up the aging process of a dam. Therefore, decisions about decommissioning are therefore , Should be taken in the context of a changing climate. ” Mr. Smkhtin said.

Lead author and UNU-INWEH senior researcher Duminda Perera said the problem of aging large dams today faces a relatively small number of countries – 93 percent of all large dams in the world are located in just 25 countries.

“Large dam construction accelerated in the mid-20th century and peaked in the 1960s – 70s, particularly in Asia, Europe and North America, while the peak in Africa occurred in the 1980s. Thereafter continued and progressively larger Number of dams. He refused.

The pace of large dam construction has decreased dramatically over the last four decades and continues to decline in part because “globally the best locations for such dams are becoming progressively lower as nearly 50 percent of global river volume is already Is fragmented or regulated with dams. ”States the report.

There are also strong concerns about the environmental and social impacts of dams, and particularly emerging dams and practices on large dams, as well as alternative types of energy production beyond water storage, nature-based solutions and hydroelectricity, it said.

Public safety, rising maintenance costs, sedimentation of the reservoir, and restoration of a natural river ecosystem are among the reasons driving the dam decommissioning, the report notes, as the dam is built overall in the overall planning process. Decommissioning should be considered important. Water storage infrastructure development.

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